Visual Essay PowerPoint Assignment
[Adapted from Leon-Guerrero’s Social Problems, Community, Policy, and Social Action (2009)]
Visual essays help to tell a story, present an issue or provoke thoughtful reflection through pictures and images. Visual essays have been presented throughout your text to capture the human experience of social problems. The essays have been included by the author to provide you the opportunity to reflect about social problems, particularly those affecting your own community.
For this assignment you will have the opportunity to create your own visual essay, to capture social problems in your own community in images. To complete the assignment you will need to select a series of 6-8 photos that document a social problem related in some way to work or the economy, and develop a PowerPoint presentation (10-11 slides maximum). Make sure that you understand the difference between a Visual Essay and a standard presentation – the emphasis should be on your photos and images!
The photos can be collected several ways:
- You may shoot your own photos for this project. If you are taking the photos in private settings, you must obtain written permission from your subject(s).
- You can use photos from published sources (e.g., books) if you provide the appropriate citations and references.
- You can also search websites for photos (provide citations and references).
- Photos may also be obtained from a stock art archive on the internet. You can go to www.corbis.com or www.ditto.com, where you can search by keyword(s).
Please note: You must document where you obtained the photos by providing source, photographer (if known) and publisher/website address. If using personal photos, identify yourself as the photographer.
In instances where you decide to take your own photos, please remember that you should always protect the privacy and safety of your subjects. Many problems are controversial and often lead to negative stigmatization of those experiencing them. Remember, your visual essay should only include photos of subjects who agree to have their photo taken and used for your assignment.
Include a caption for each photo that contains the following information:
[Title]. [Date of photograph (or date unknown, or “circa”)]. [Name of photographer (if known)]. [Complete source information if “borrowed” from Internet or published source]. Brief statement/caption about the significance of the photo (what does the picture say?).
In addition to your photos, include in your PowerPoint presentation the following:
- A title slide that identifies the problem, your name, course name and number, and date
- An Introduction slide that identifies the social problem and describes its significance in the United States
- A slide that “sets up” the visual essay – gives a brief overview of what the viewer will see as they click through the “slide show” of photos (i.e., the following slides depict the face of unemployment…………….)
A wrap up/summary/conclusion slide
A references slide (APA format)
Remember, the emphasis of this assignment is on visual images – not text. The images should tell the story and make the point. You want to leave your audience with a lasting image in their mind about your topic. I will be looking for professional appearance, emotional appeal and a coherent representation of the topic through the images on the slides. Tip: more is not necessarily better – it is about the relevance and meaning of your images, not about the quantity.
Be sure to review the Visual Essay Presentation rubric for an understanding of how this assignment will be graded.
Submit a copy of your presentation to the Visual Essay Assignment Dropbox.
In addition, post a copy as an attachment to the Visual Essay Forum. Put the title of your essay in the Subject line, include your name in the message area, and attach the presentation.
The presentation is due by midnight Thursday. Post comments to at least 2 other presentations before midnight Sunday.